For about a year now, I’ve been using View Ranger Navigation on my Galaxy phone. And while there are no shortages of navigation apps out there, this app just really called out to me with some of it’s features.
Available for both android and apple, this app is free for download. One of the key points I liked about this app, unlike others, is I didn’t have to set up an account to use it. Of course to really enjoy all of the features registration is needed. But the key features are all available without registration.
A really neat feature, not found on other apps, is Skyline— the augmented reality function. Skyline identifies key terrain features, as well as their distance, using an overlay over your mobile phone’s camera. It really helps orient you in the field along with helping one determine the distance to various peaks.
Like other navigation apps, it tracks the route you take, what distance you covered, and how long it took. It also works in airplane mode
It uses topographic maps to plot your tracks and routes. It’s useful when matching it up with a full size paper map to get a large scale overview.
By registering an account, one gains the ability to download different trails from other view ranger users. While I personally haven’t done it, there is a pretty active view ranger community who shares their routes. And if you decide not to register, you can still view the different trails without downloading them.
A unique function, and one I feel is important is buddy beacon. Basically, it allows anyone to track your whereabouts. Think of it as the ability for loved ones to know where you’re at while on the trail. Imagine how helpful it is to SAR, should they need to be called out to help you.
There are a lot of other features well beyond the scope of this short intro to View Ranger. My best advice is download it and play with it. It’s free. What do you have to lose? Hopefully not yourself once you’ve downloaded it.
…Sorry couldn’t resist.